Many a culinarian has waxed prolific about the Black Cake’s rich aromatic flavors and unusual texture that is something between a plum pudding and a pound cake. Although it could technically be called a fruitcake because of the candied and dried fruits that comprise its bulk, no fruitcake ever tasted this good!
Special credit must be given here to Mrs.
Place all the fruit ingredients except the vanilla bean in a gallon jar that can be tightly sealed—preferably with a suction lid. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds and bean to the jar. Mix very well and seal. Store, unrefrigerated, in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks or up to 1 year.
Place the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mixed essence and vanilla.
Using a slotted spoon, remove 5 cups of the soaked fruit from the jar (or all of the cooked fruits from the saucepan if using quick-soak method), reserving liquid. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Add fruit paste to the batter and beat well.
Add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the burnt sugar syrup and mix well.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and
Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes in the pan.
Combine the rum, brandy, and sherry for basting (or if you used the quick-soak method use the reserved liquid for basting) and evenly brush the cooled cakes with this mixture. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Remove cakes from the pans. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then tinfoil. You may also place the cakes in a tightly lidded plastic container. Store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 days before eating. Black cake can be stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator. If doing so, re-baste with the basting mixture once every 2 weeks.
Note: This is the long-soak method; see alternate quick-soak method
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